Having a clear career path helps employees feel like the company is invested in their long-term success and wants them to grow within the organization. This will reduce turnover and create a more engaged workforce.
However, not everyone is interested in moving up a ladder with linear progression from one role to another, or they may want to change industries or jobs entirely. Those who aren’t interested in linear movements will want to lay the foundation for their careers without being restricted to one company, and a personal career pathway will do just that.
Career paths are defined by small groups of occupations, or career clusters, that share similar skills and knowledge. These groups of occupations are known as career fields, and they include a range of jobs, from low-level entry positions to managerial roles. For example, a career pathway could include roles such as human resources coordinator, financial analyst, and project manager.
Many employers use career paths as a way to attract and retain top talent. Having a career path will also help you spot roadblocks or construction zones in your leadership pipeline, so you can develop programs to address these issues and improve your employee engagement.
Managers should work closely with their direct reports to understand their strengths, interests, and ambitions, so they can help them set career goals and map out a clear path to growth for their individual employees. These conversations should be regularly revisited in performance reviews and one-on-one meetings.